Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: New Books, Old Books, and Musical Cues

Welcome back to Aurora Australis, your source for publishing news and genre highlights from Australia and New Zealand! This month we’ve got new books, old books, awards, and a RED HOT TIP.


First, some new books!

Allen&Unwin have released the cover for the second in the Zeroes series from Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. Called Swarm, it promises to “raise the stakes” from where Zeroes left the teenagers because they’ll be confronting a “sinister power-wielder.” CUE SINISTER MUSIC. A&U also have Karen Foxlee’s A Most Magical Girl coming out soon. A girl’s mother disappears, leaving her in the care of two eccentric aunts and resulting in her undertaking a quest with a young witch, Kitty. It also involves trolls and faerie bones. CUE WHIMSICAL MUSIC.

New from Hachette: James Islington’s The Shadow of What Was Lost is a debut novel set twenty years after the overthrow of god-like beings, and their former servants are heavily circumscribed. Of course, this is epic fantasy, so you just know something is going to go epically wrong. CUE WAGNERIAN MUSIC. And Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Heart is also coming out soon: “a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…”. CUE SOARING SOPRANOS.

AnAccidentOfStars-144dpiHugo-nominated Foz Meadows has an epic fantasy YA novel coming very soon. An Accident of Stars from Angry Robot Books, will be out on August 4 (UK/Commonwealth) and August 2 (US/Canada… wait, isn’t Canada in the Commonwealth? Does geography trump political affiliation??). There’s a hole in reality and Saffron falls through; she gets pulled into all sorts of political intrigue in this new world. CUE POLITICAL MUSIC. It’s listed as the first book in the Manifold Worlds series, with book 2, A Tyranny of Queens, coming in March 2017; it’s unclear how many more there might be in the series.

(I’m out of musical ideas. Oh well; sorry.)


Solaris Classics is launching soon, and the first titles they’re releasing are Rowena Corey Daniells’ The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin. I can tell you that there was a lot of joy over this way when this information was released, and we hope that lots of people get the chance to read them with their reprinting!

Promised books!

Raw Dog Screaming Press has signed Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts for a two-book deal, beginning with Hounds of the Underworld launching The Path of Ra series. It promises to be a “dark detective mashup” with the narration alternating between a scientist of Chinese heritage and her adopted brother of Maori descent. (Wait, this one is definitely CUE NOIR MUSIC.)

EG Wilson’s Voiceless duology opens in a new windowcopy-of-hiking has been signed to Atthis Arts, LLC. It’s a YA urban science fiction pair involving a “virtual psychoreality program” and a student who needs to “steal back her voice.” Colour me intrigued.

The publishing biz!

Aiming to help authors out is the newly launched Critical Mass. Joel Naoum (previously of Pan Macmillan’s digital imprint Momentum) intends to help authors “navigate the modern publishing landscape.”

Meanwhile Steam Press—“a boutique publisher of remarkable New Zealand science fiction and fantasy”—has been acquired by Eunoia Publishing, a new independent outfit out of New Zealand that “believes in beautiful books.” Steam Press is running a “short-short science fiction” competition to celebrate, where ‘short-short’ is 1000-1500 words long. The stories should be YA-suitable, positive in outlook, and ‘hard science fiction’. You’ll find other details at the website.


Anna Smaill The Chimes sweepstakesThe World Fantasy Awards finalists include a few NZ and Australian names. Anna Smaill’s The Chimes (Sceptre) in on the Novels list, while Tamsyn Muir’s “The Deepwater Bride” (F&SF 7-8/15; it just keeps on getting love!) is on the Short Fiction list. Kathleen Jennings gets a nod for Artist, while Letters to Tiptree (ed. Alexandra Pierce (me) and Alisa Krasnostein) is in the Special Award, Nonprofessional category.

Because of Cheryl Morgan, who publicised the awards from Finncon, I’m very excited to tell you that Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia was awarded the Tähtifantasia Award for best fantasy award translated into Finnish! That’s pretty awesome for a graphic novel. Especially since it beat out Patrick Rothfuss!


tales finnish bIf you’re interested in the Australian speculative fiction scene, you REALLY want to keep your eye on the Snapshot blog for the first fortnight in August, and follow the #2016snapshot tag on Twitter. The brainchild of Ben Peek back in 2005, this definitely-not-annual-because-it’s-exhausting endeavour looks to provide a snapshot of the Aussie scene. It’s turned into a leviathan involving a team of interviewers and it’s a great way to learn a bit more about what’s going on in the scene. Thanks to Tehani Wessely, many of the old interviews (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2014) are now archived on the site. And maybe, just maybe, August might see new interviews appearing…

Got New Zealander or Australian news? Let me know!

Alexandra Pierce reads, teaches, blogs, podcasts, cooks, knits, runs, eats, sleeps, and observes the stars. Not necessarily in that order of priority. She is a Christian, a feminist, and an Australian. She can be found at her website, and on the Galactic Suburbia podcast.


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